So How Does Deep Tissue Massage Prepare You For Sport?
We all know that professional sports people take massages as a part of their training programme, but is it a mere indulgence?
Playing sport demands that you have good blood flow to all the muscles you are going to use, prior to playing. This enables you to provide the working muscles with immediate nutrients to work efficiently and help drain away the waste products which accumulate during sport. Furthermore, the blood carries warmth to the muscles which helps to make them more elastic, vital for performance.
For the sportsperson, not only does Deep Tissue Massage help to achieve this both pre and post exercise, it improves the conditioning of the muscles. This assists flexibility and eliminates 'blocks' in your system, thus allowing you to both perform better and lessen the likelihood of injury.
For example, if you have suffered from a hamstring (back of thigh) tear, you may have residual knots in your muscle, which limit your performance potential and increase your chances of restrain. By loosening these knots, you will 'fix' your weak spots and have more confidence to just go for it!
Why do I need massage?
Working at computers, driving long distances, stress...all these activities cause stiffness in the muscles which hold us in position for hour after hour.
A build up of tension in the muscles which support you will change the way that you move in both daily activities and whilst you play. Stiff muscles will also pull on the joints, compromising their movement and leading to joint strains.
Following a day of sedentary work, these muscle and joint tensions will be greater and it is essential to loosen these to gain the greatest results. Joint strains are best treated with physiotherapy however massage will help to release the joints and dramatically improve your flexibility and control.
Exercising with muscles in spasm or tension will significantly reduce your control, precision and accuracy, hence sporting performance will be severely compromised.
Specific effects of Deep Tissue Massage
- Stretches your muscle fibres in every direction, which is impossible to do with pure stretching alone and enables you to train harder for longer
- Helps in warm up/cool down
- Helps resolve post exercise discomfort
- Helps to relieve chronic injury or strain by release of joint strains
- Enhances drainage of waste products to speed recovery from exercise
Please note that deep massage can change your control when you play. When you are looser, you will no longer be compensating for the problematic areas as your body will function the way it is designed to do. For this reason, you should not have deep treatments just prior to sporting competitions and always try out your new body prior to competing.